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Posts from the ‘Reading Updates’ Category

The First 70: A Look Back

I usually conduct this little exercise after every 10 books, but I completely forgot after book 70. So I’m a little late this time around.

It’s been nearly 4 years, 70+ books, and 30,000 pages since I started this project. So let’s take a look back. Here are some of the best and the worst from the first 70 books I’ve read this time around. Read more

Samwise’s Stirring Speech

This is one of my favorite scenes from the three Lord of the Rings movies. This one comes from The Two Towers, and I know it has a little Hollywood screenwriting trickery here.

Though a good portion of Sam’s speech does actually appear in the novel, this particular scene does not. In fact, Sam’s monologue about stories happens in Shelob’s cave–correct me if I’m wrong.

But, still, it’s such a great scene. And a lot of the dialogue is actually in the book.

Such a great, great film. Enjoy this classic scene from The Two Towers. Read more

My Favorite Passage From The Fellowship of the Ring

If Gandalf isn’t the wisest character in the history of novels, then I don’t know who is. Okay, Atticus Finch might give him a run for his money.

I just love Gandalf. His wisdom, patience, his incredible display of force when needed, and his discernment of when to use said force.

He’s one of my favorite characters, and I think that’s because a lot of what he says ties in to my faith and personal beliefs.

This passage from The Fellowship of the Ring is a good example. He’s responding to Frodo, who questions why Gandalf didn’t kill Gollum when he had the opportunity. Read more

One Ring To Rule Them All

What is it about these verses that send shivers down my spine?

Have I become a Lord of the Rings fanboy?

I mean, I’ve always loved the books. And I thought the movies were amazing. I’ve watched each of them 3 times.

And this verse just makes me giddy. It’s so good, so perfect, and such a great setup for the entire story. Read more

Character Development In The Death Of The Heart

I don’t know what to do with The Death of the Heart.

It’s a novel that lulls me to sleep, then quickly pulls me back in. It’s a novel with little action and large amounts of character development. I’m still not sure how I’ll rank The Death of the Heart when I review it next week.

If you’re looking for a glowing review of the novel, check out Charlotte Freeman’s take at The Rumpus. She calls The Death of the Heart “the last book she loved,” and has this to say about it. Read more

Why Do I Feel Uncomfortable Reading Teenage Love Stories?

As I’m wrapping up The Death of the Heart—I know, it’s taken me forever—I’ve noticed how uncomfortable I am reading teenage love stories.

This one tells the story of Portia, a young 16-year-old girl who moves to London to live with her brother and his wife, only to fall in love with an older 23-year-old creepy guy who is a friend of the family. He’s essentially the early 20th Century of a frat boy douche bag.  Read more

The Bright Side Of The Death Of The Heart

I try my best to be fair about the books I’m reading. After all, if I’m reading through all 101 of these novels, I want to do everything I can to enjoy them. Otherwise, it would just be a waste of time.

I started off my experience with The Death of the Heart by sharing the novel’s opening with you guys. The large majority of responses, including my initial impression, were negative.

But, hey, that’s just one paragraph of a 450 page novel, albeit an important one.

Anyway, what else is in store for you in the first 150 pages of The Death of the Heart? I pulled together from of my favorite passages to counterbalance all the negativity toward that opening paragraph.

Here are a few: Read more

Let’s Revisit That Opening From The Death Of The Heart

I read through your comments on Tuesday’s post in which I gave you the opening to The Death of the Heart and asked for your thoughts on it.

A few highlights: Read more

What Do You Think Of This Opening?

Today’s post is simple.

First, read the opening paragraph to The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen. Read more

This Is The Original Detective Novel

One of the many things I love about reading through the Time list is the opportunity I’ve had to read a lot of groundbreaking fiction.

Many of these books were the first of their kind. And if they weren’t the “first,” they were at least the books that made the genres popular.

Red Harvest absolutely fits into that mold. If you read this novel without context or background, you might think it’s just another detective novel—like thousands of others. But Red Harvest is so well done, so before its time, that I believe it sets itself apart even if it was written 10 years ago instead of in 1929. Read more


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